Top 5 Tips To Writing the Perfect Personal Statement

On the final day of Employability Week, Klaudia has compiled her top 5 tips to help you perfect your personal statement.

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 1. Take your time

Expect a lot of drafts and a lot of work, don’t expect to write it in an hour and for it to be perfect. Ask people for advice and proof read. It can be helpful to ask your lecturer or someone who is already working in your chosen field to read over it and see whether they would consider you a candidate

2. Write the perfect opening sentence

Try and put yourself in the shoes of the university panel. They’re going to spend a day reading through hundreds of personal statements and it’s going to take a little bit of work to make sure that when they get to yours, they’re captivated. A killer opening sentence draws the reader in and makes them want to keep reading. If you start with something like “Ever since I can remember” or “I have always loved ‘Psychology’” or any other clichés, they are going to be bored from the get go. A good tip can be to leave your opening sentence until last.

3. Make it your own

Following on from the earlier point, your personal statement is their first impression of you, so you want to make sure that your personality shines through. Not to mention that UCAS has a plagiarism checker that will quickly spot if you have been using someone else’s ideas.

4. Honesty is the best policy

Be mindful that when invited to interview, they are likely to ask you about things you wrote in your personal statement so remember to be honest and not exaggerate your accomplishments.

If you have had time out of school, college or work and you’re worried about writing about that, try and turn it into a positive; or even if you had failed exams at school, you can still write about it in a positive light. Write about how much you have learned from that experience and what you took away from it; it will show that you are a capable of critically evaluating your own circumstances and learn from your not-so-positive experiences.

5. Strengths, experience and extra-curricular activities

Make sure that the majority of your personal statement is based on the subject you’re applying for, but at the same time, make sure to explain why you are right for the course. That’s the unwritten question that’s being asked through the personal statement, it’s your chance to sell yourself in 4000 characters or less so you need to make sure that what you write is concise and to the point. You need to layer every positive attribute with an example and link everything back to the course you’re applying for. When writing about your experiences, make sure to add how this has developed your skills and what you have gained from this. Also, remember to be enthusiastic, this is your dream course so don’t be afraid to say exactly why you fell in love with it and want to spend the next four years of your life studying it.

We recommend that you read through the UCAS website and use their Personal Statement Tool that can be found here.

Get in touch with your Guidance Co-ordinator, Klaudia Grubska by email: klaudia.grubska@uhi.ac.uk or give her a phone 01595 771 236. You can also pop into C10 on Mondays and Fridays if you need help with your UCAS application.

Use the BUZZWORD: UHIBUZZ2019 when starting your application.